Estate assets only require administration if they are “stuck” or “terminate” in the name of the decedent.
For example, John owned a bank account titled in his name alone. He did not designate a payable-on-death (POD) beneficiary on the account. When he died, this account terminated in John’s name. It would likely need to go through probate to be released to his heirs.
Note: The existence (or absence) of a Last Will and Testament does not dictate whether probate is needed.
There are a few exceptions to consider:
- Cars owned by a decedent can often be re-titled at the DMV so long as the beneficiaries/heirs are clear and there is no lien on the car.
- Financial assets can sometimes be released as reimbursements for out of pocket expenses such as funeral costs (Disposition of Personal Property without Administration)
If you’re unsure of your options, let’s talk (free).